I'm a parent of an autistic adult. My son, Nathaniel, was diagnosed around 3 years of age (he's now in his 30's), but as I look over some family movies (see March 30, 2011 post) I can see that he displayed many of the 10 signs of autism well before then.

His mother and I had only one thing in mind. What do we do?? In the early 80's there was little we could find about autism (no internet - what a lifesaver now!). We had his immediate needs to worry about. Was there a cure? Did he require medication? Childhood education had not yet come to mind. But with time, we needed to find out what resources were available around us.

Planning usually comes late for parents with autistic kids. We (well his mother and I) worried about his immediate needs and not the future. When Nathaniel reached 18, life as an adult posed many questions.

I hope that this can be a place where parents with autistic adults and children can communicate with those of us who have dealt with autistic adults. Yes, there are books and magazine articles about what to expect, and legal advice, but I have yet to find a place where experienced parents can share these experiences, give advice, and help parents of young children cope with the future of their child.

Feb 6, 2011

Back To His Routine

It has been far too long since I posted, so I will try to make amends.Christmas, and alas Nathaniel, have come and gone. Shelley took Nathaniel back to MD and weeped all the way home. We know he is happy there because he usually asks for “Lucky House” about 4 weeks into his Christmas holiday. Get back to the routine he is comfortable with. We did have is semi-annual conference call with all of his care providers a few weeks ago. Our biggest concern (well, at least mine) is how to keep Nathaniel occupied when he is at his day placement and at his home. Parents’ you have to stay on top of this if you have your autistic child in a group setting outside their parent’s home. The staff can become very lazy when they have a child that doesn’t know how to ask to get involved. With Nathaniel, my concern is that he is OK with sitting in front of the TV watching Sesame Street. Even though there are two other special needs adults in the house, Nathaniel still needs some full time attention. His primary care provider loves Nathaniel more than her own child (Nathaniel does not talk back, doesn’t ask for anything, except a trip to MacDonald’s for a coke), and we are grateful that she is in Nathaniel’s life. She dotes on him and buys him wonderful clothes out of her own pocket (Nathaniel is the best dressed kid at his day placement). But I would rather have her buy him a pencil and sit down with him to draw than to buy the most expensive coat. You parents out there must insist on this.


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